The American Association of Retired Persons brought its “Divided We Fail” campaign to Upstate New York on Tuesday. The campaign is a nonpartisan effort to educate voters about each candidate’s stance on some of the key issues in the upcoming New York primaries.
The American Association of Retired Persons brought its “Divided We Fail” campaign to Utica on Tuesday.
The campaign is a nonpartisan effort to educate voters concerning each candidate’s stance on some of the key issues in the upcoming New York primaries.
“The reason for this tour is because so many New Yorkers are undecided, and where they fall on health care could really influence how they vote,” said Bill Armbruster, associate state director for the AARP.
The campaign, which visited the North Utica Senior Center, hopes to help many of the area’s undecided voters by giving out information written in the candidates own words, said Erin Mitchell, associate state director for AARP.
“Our goal is to educate thousands of folks in the area on what candidates are offering on the issues,” Mitchell said. “Really, we’re hoping to reach millions because this is a nationwide campaign.”
Al Blumenstock, a senior citizen from Frankfort, is one of those undecided voters the campaign is hoping to reach. Although he is considering Sen. Barack Obama, D-Illinois, he hasn’t made a final decision.
“Anybody but Hillary,” Blumenstock said. “She messed up my health plan and I don’t trust her.”
Even though he is a registered Democrat, Blumenstock said he will vote on the candidate and not their party.
“I know I should look at what’s best for the country,” Blumenstock said. “And maybe it’s selfish, but I have to look out for myself, too.”
Teg Roberts of Ilion also is undecided, although he said he would like to see a Republican in office again.
For Roberts, health care and the economy are the deciding factors of this election.
“I’d like to see the economy come back up, and I think the Republicans are the ones who can do that,” Roberts said. “I might be wrong, but that’s just my opinion.”
AARP also is reaching out to younger voters to try and turn their campaign into an intergenerational effort. The tour has made stops at Elmira College, University of Buffalo and SUNYIT.
“It’s all about the issues, this gridlock is enough, and we’re fed up,” Mitchell said. “If we don’t do something now during this campaign, the American Dream could be lost.”